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Three professors honored with ‘distinguished’ rank

Three Binghamton faculty members have been promoted to distinguished professorship, a tenured University ranking that is conferred for consistently extraordinary accomplishment.

The State University of New York Board of Trustees announced 11 such appointments last week. Recipients are nominated for this honor by their campus presidents for having achieved national or international prominence and an established reputation in their field of expertise.

Stephen David Ross, professor of philosophy and comparative literature; Thomas O’Connor, professor of Spanish; and Mark Lenzenweger, professor of psychology, join 33 other Binghamton colleagues who have received this distinction.

Stephen David Ross

Ross, who began teaching at Binghamton in 1967, is the author of 26 books, a widely read anthology in aesthetics and philosophy of art and numerous articles.

His most recent books are The Gift of Property: Having the Good, betraying genitivity, economy and ecology, an ethic of the earth; The Gift of Self: Shattering, Emptiness, Betrayal; and The World as Aesthetic Phenomenon, the image in abundance, the wonder of the earth, which is forthcoming.
His thinking evolved from American Pragmatism through Process Philosophy to Continental Philosophy, seeking through imagination and reflection to open new interdisciplinary questions concerning art, language, ethics and politics.

President Lois B. DeFleur wrote in nominating Ross for promotion: “His work on ‘the good’ renews an overdue examination of philosophy’s answer to some elemental human questions. The level of skill with which he dissects these subjects demonstrates his nearly unmatched mastery of the history of philosophy.”

Ross founded the Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture Program at Binghamton. This interdisciplinary program addresses the ways in which cultural forms of knowledge and expression shape and are shaped by human practices and experience.

In 1998, he established the Stephen David Ross University & Community Projects Fund to encourage collaboration among University faculty, staff and students with local service organizations to benefit Greater Binghamton.

Ross, who received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia in 1956, also earned a master’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in philosophy from Columbia.

He lives in Binghamton.

Thomas O’Connor

O’Connor, who joined Binghamton’s faculty in 1988, has achieved national and international recognition for excellence in the field of Spanish Golden Age studies.

He has been a major force in furthering and enriching the study of Spanish classical theater.
“Professor O’Connor’s ability to take mythological lessons as written about in the works of Agustín de Salazar y Torres (1636-1675) and Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681) and write about them in a manner that emphasizes their relevance to the human condition as it exists today is a remarkable feat,” DeFleur wrote in her nomination letter. “…He has eloquently accomplished this feat, and in doing so has exposed new generations to the importance of these extraordinary representations of human passion and love.”

O’Connor has written two major books, five critical editions with introductions and more than 50 articles for scholarly journals. He previously taught at Kansas State, Texas A&M and the State University College at Cortland.

O’Connor, who did his undergraduate work at Iona College, holds master’s and doctoral degrees in Spanish from the University at Albany.

He lives in Vestal.

Mark Lenzenweger

Lenzenweger, who joined Binghamton’s faculty in 2001, is a renowned researcher in the areas of schizophrenia as well as personality disorder.

He established that schizophrenia can manifest itself in a dilute form, known as schizotypic psychopathology, through an extensive series of experimental laboratory studies. This work on schizotypic psychopathology in combination with innovative statistical approaches is charting new directions in the genomic study of schizophrenia.
He concurrently has directed a landmark longitudinal study of personality disorder, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, that continues to push the frontiers of knowledge in this area. His finding that personality disorder features show substantial variability over time strikes at the heart of assumptions that dominated the area for 100 years.

Lenzenweger, a prolific writer, has been the recipient or co-recipient of more than $15 million in grant funding for his research.

He is also an adjunct professor of psychology in psychiatry at the Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University in New York City.

Lenzenweger began his academic career at Cornell, where he was a member of the tenured faculty, and he moved on to a professorial post at Harvard.

He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in clinical psychology (experimental psychopathology) from Yeshiva University as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University.

Last year, Lenzenweger received the State University of New York Award for Research and Scholarship as well as the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

He lives in Ithaca with his wife and three children.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08